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Undesirable, unsightly body bulges are commonplace in America, even in circles where proper dieting and exercise are followed. It is the reason why liposuction has become one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed today. For the properly selected candidates, substantial improvement in body contour can be accomplished in expert hands. Our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Eric Okamoto, can reduce pockets of excess fat in a variety of areas and help you recontour your body with beautiful results.
What are the benefits of liposuction?
For many individuals, even the most rigorous diet regimens and exercise routines have little to no effect on isolated fat pockets that can appear in a range of body areas. Liposuction is an advanced method of removing stubborn excess fat in these areas and improving the body’s contours. The treatment has remained one of the most popular cosmetic enhancement procedures for many years, and has helped millions of patients feel better about the way they look. Some of the areas that can be targeted for liposuction include:
- Inner and outer thighs
- Flanks (love handles)
While liposuction can be an extraordinarily effective procedure for many patients, it is important to note that the treatment is no substitute for weight loss. In fact, it is best suited for those who are close to their ideal body weight but have stubborn fatty deposits that never seem to go away regardless of weight. In fact, this subset of patients is often the most satisfied since the results can be more exacting.
What does the liposuction procedure involve?
Liposuction is very effective when performed for reasonable candidates by an experienced plastic surgeon. This treatment is typically performed on an outpatient basis, and often takes about two hours or less to complete, depending on the size, number, and location of the areas being treated. Because it is a relatively simple concept of vacuuming extra fat with a set of long, thin tubes called cannulas, a wide range of physicians and surgeons offer liposuction services. Simply said, this is an easy procedure to perform, but a difficult one to do well and safely. There can be no doubt that results are closely related to experience. When liposuction is performed for the right patients in a correct manner, complications can be minimized. As with many surgical procedures, the list of things that can go wrong is lengthy and needs to be discussed directly with each patient, but the most common is unreasonable expectations for less ideal candidates.
Once you come in for your initial consultation with Dr. Okamoto, he will talk with you about your needs and goals and explain all risks and benefits of the procedure to you in detail. If he determines that you are a good candidate for liposuction, Dr. Okamoto will create a customized treatment plan designed to provide you with the best possible results.
Multiple techniques are available. The most common involves mechanical removal of the fat with a suction device after a specially prepared solution is injected into the fatty deposits. However, there are some methods that apply ultrasound or laser assistance. Regardless of the methodology applied, the most important factor for obtaining natural and satisfactory results is the surgeon’s experience with the chosen tools.
What about the recovery process?
Healing varies according to individual circumstances and the liposuction techniques utilized. In general, the more fat that is removed, the longer the convalescence. Most candidates return to work in a week or even less, but some symptoms of healing can persist for months. In general, some swelling and bruising can be expected for several days after liposuction; however, this should fade as recovery progresses. In most cases, a compression garment is offered to facilitate post-surgical healing. Full results of the liposuction procedure should become apparent over the course of recovery.
Liposuction Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I lose a lot of weight with liposuction?
Liposuction is primarily designed to help patients who are at or near a healthy body weight for their size by reducing pockets of excess fat that are isolated to specific areas. It is not meant to serve as an option for extensive weight loss.
What about scarring from the procedure?
The incisions utilized for liposuction surgery are typically quite small, often considerably less than an inch in length. Therefore, residual scarring should be minimal. Dr. Okamoto takes great care to ensure that scars from this procedure are as light as possible.
Will I be in significant pain after liposuction?
All patients respond differently to surgery, and any post-operative discomfort will largely depend on the techniques utilized and the size and extent of the treatment area. With that in mind, many individuals do not experience significant levels of pain after liposuction, and Dr. Okamoto can prescribe medicine to control discomfort during recovery.
Will I need to take an excessive number of days off work?
Again, recovery from liposuction is dependent on the size, location, and number of treatment areas, so the recovery period will be different for everyone. However, patients who do not have a strenuous job are often able to resume working within a week, and sometimes after just a few days.
Are there other procedures that can be combined with liposuction?
Liposuction can be one part of a comprehensive cosmetic enhancement makeover from our practice. In addition to liposuction, tummy tuck surgery can be performed to tighten the abdominal muscles and give the abdomen a firmer, flatter appearance; arm or thigh lift surgery can firm up the skin of the arms and thighs; and some of our other body contouring or breast surgery procedures can also serve as complements to liposuction for patients who are looking to enhance a range of body areas. Dr. Okamoto will be happy to talk over your options with you once you have explained the areas you would like to address.